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Posted by RLPA

September 15, 2022

Six nominees for 2022 Dennis Tutty Awards

The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) is pleased to announce the six nominees for the history-making 2022 Dennis Tutty Award.

After the inaugural 2021 Dennis Tutty Award for the NRLW competition was won by Ali Brigginshaw earlier this year, this will be the first time ever that the Dennis Tutty Award will be jointly announced for a player from each of the NRL and NRLW competitions. 

The 2022 Dennis Tutty Award nominees are Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Hannah Southwell and Simaima Taufa from the NRLW competition, and Kurt Capewell, Wade Graham and Josh Hodgson from the NRL competition.

The Dennis Tutty Award is awarded annually by the RLPA to a current rugby league player who has demonstrated outstanding:
    a    Leadership on and off the field;
    b    Commitment to their fellow players & to the advancement and protection of their rights; and
    c    Service and dedication to the game of rugby league.

Both winners of the 2022 Dennis Tutty Award will be announced on Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show, this Sunday September 18th. 

About the 20222 Dennis Tutty Award nominees:

Chelsea Lenarduzzi: “Recently appointed to the RLPA Board of Directors in 2022, Chelsea’s eagerness to generate change within the women’s rugby league landscape has been crucial to opening deeper discussions about the future growth of women’s game,” said Clint Newton, Chief Executive Officer of the RLPA.

Hannah Southwell: “Hannah’s contributions over the last two years have been monumental for the improved standards made to the women’s game and the NRLW. She was the first female rugby league player to join the RLPA Board of Directors and her cutting-edge passion continues to drive change for female athletes as she selflessly advocates on behalf of all players,” said Lina Caccamo, the RLPA’s GM of Elite Women and International Relations.
Simaima Taufa: 
“A long-serving member of our Women’s Player Advisory Group (WPAG), Simaima has for an extended period of time been at the forefront of advocating for changes to women’s rugby league. She also provides a strong voice for the Pasifika community and is continually pushing for better standards for the next generation of NRLW and women’s rugby league players,” said Clint Newton, Chief Executive Office of the RLPA.
Kurt Capewell: “Kurt has developed into a key member of the Men’s Player Advisory Group (MPAG) after a number of years as an influential Delegate at the Penrith Panthers and now the Brisbane Broncos. Kurt’s willingness to, publicly and privately, call out various issues that players face and also provide his insights and problem-solving mindset has been to the benefit of all players. Kurt’s passion about player rights is shown in his commitment to attending important meetings. He also used the media for positive change, and the essential education he provides his fellow players on RLPA-related matters is crucial to the Association,” said Clint Newton, Chief Executive Office of the RLPA.

Wade Graham: “Wade has been an outstanding advocate for the playing group for many years and has played an extremely proactive role as a Delegate, MPAG member and an RLPA Board Director during this time. Wade continually steps forward on behalf of the collective, attending crucial meetings with NRL management and providing courageous public comments in the media. Wade drives great unity and solidarity at the Cronulla Sharks and within the MPAG and is deeply respected by his fellow players. Wade’s leadership always provides great confidence to both players and the RLPA,” said Jamie Buhrer, Player Operations Manager at the RLPA.
Josh Hodgson: “Josh officially joined the RLPA Board at the 2022 AGM and has continued to increase his role within the Association. Josh is an outstanding leader and cares deeply about his teammates and the collective playing group, which has been consistently demonstrated both publicly and privately. He has committed endless hours for the betterment of others, joining many pivotal RLPA meetings, speaking on key issues via the media, as well as advocating for other players in need. Josh’s respect and engagement with the RLPA over many years has led to a strong and committed Canberra Raiders playing group, which will remain his legacy when he departs the club at the end of this season,” said Tom Symonds, Player Operations Manager at the RLPA.

Previous winners of the Dennis Tutty Award:

  • 2021 Ali Brigginshaw
  • 2021 Christian Welch
  • 2020 Blake Green
  • 2019 David Gower
  • 2018 Jason Nightingale
  • 2017 James Maloney
  • 2016 Dene Halatau
  • 2015 Tom Symonds
  • 2014 Nate Myles
  • 2013 Clint Newton
  • 2012 Robbie Farah
  • 2011 Andrew Ryan
  • 2010 Petero Civoniceva
  • 2009 Michael Gordon
  • 2008 Jason King

About Dennis Tutty:

Dennis Tutty played rugby league long before the days of full-time professionalism. Before colour TV, Tina Turner and the NRL. When players played almost exclusively for their local clubs and, first and foremost, for their love of the game. Unfortunately, in this romanticised era of rugby league, where the greats of Arthur Beetson and Ron Coote made their names, player rights were often a passing thought for the game’s administrators.

Dennis’ actions in challenging the NSWRL’s transfer system in 1968, at great personal sacrifice, were not only pivotal in the emergence of a player’s rights movement but paved the way for the all sporting professionals of today.

The RLPA will ensure that Dennis’s legacy is never forgotten, and all players are reminded of the benefits his sacrifices provide them. 

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